Pebble Hill student Chloe with one of many cards for seniors
The thought of seniors isolated and alone as a result of the pandemic has weighed heavily on the heart of Judy Hickey, EA at Pebble Hill Elementary School in Tsawwassen, who has made it her mission to try to make them feel cared for this festive season.
“I have a couple of seniors in my life, and I could see them really struggling with not being able to go out and about, and see friends and family members. So, I decided to collect Christmas cards, letters, drawings and jokes to send to residents at local seniors’ homes.”
Judy put out a call for cards on the Tsawaassen Loop Facebook page and was also given some cards written by school children from her daughter, who is an elementary school teacher in Richmond. The cards were so well received by the residents at St David’s Seniors House in Tsawwassen that Judy was spurred on to do more.
She asked her co-workers at Pebble Hill Elementary to help out, and soon several classes were involved in writing cards. This time Judy approached KinVillage in Tsawwassen to see if they would be interested in receiving Christmas cards for their residents. Knowing how much seniors appreciate receiving mail, Judy inquired whether she could address a card to each resident individually. KinVillage was delighted by the request and gave Judy a list of the first names of its residents.
“While I was waiting in line at the post office to mail the cards to KinVillage, I got chatting to the lady in line behind me. She was intrigued why I had so many envelopes to mail. When I told her what I was doing, she insisted on paying for the postage! I couldn’t believe it – it was such a kind and generous gesture. It just goes to show how compassionate people in our community are.”
Judy then got to work gathering cards for more than 50 residents at the West Shore Laylum long-term care home in Ladner. She has personally added words of encouragement and jokes to many of the cards. Teachers from Hawthorne Elementary and South Park Elementary also got their students involved in writing cards for the seniors.
“I have had so much great support from so many people in our community. I think people have been looking for ways to give back to their community and in particular, to show our seniors that people care about them and are thinking of them over this difficult Christmas period. It really warms my heart,” said Judy.